I apologise in advance for the lack of technicality in this article, but I will not apologise for its content.
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BY: Ayla Duffy
Warning: This post contains detail of violence, rape, and sexual assault. It may be distressing for some readers.
Brock Turner has been released after serving just three months of a six-month sentence.
I have been following this case from its beginning and have shed tears every time.
For those who don’t know Brock Turner, he was 19 years old when he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in the alley. He was hailed a “swimming star of Stanford University”, or in my mind, purely a monster. He claimed the rape had ruined his life, blaming his actions on alcohol and showing no remorse for his actions.
The woman he raped, still anonymous, released a powerful impact statement that rocked the world. She held nothing back about the effect that the rape had on her, and the repeated victimisation from Turner and his family members.
The victim’s impact statement made ripples internationally.
His family made statements like, “20 minutes of action has led to such an effect on our son… He can longer even eat”. They failed to identify it was not “action” – it was sexual assault. A horrific, irreversible crime.
But the magistrate; also male and a previous Stanford University student and sports star; let Turner off with one of the most lenient sentences imaginable – six months.
Turner has been released after just three.
He had the capacity to ruin the life of another human. He has taken away her ability to feel safe; her ability to trust and probably her ability to love for a very long time. No longer will she be able to go out and have a few drinks because last time – she was raped. No longer will she be able to start a conversation with a new man for fears that he will be just like Turner.
Yet, he has the audacity to suggest that his life is ruined because “I can’t swim competitively anymore.”
My response to that is:
“Perhaps you should have considered that before you sexually assaulted someone. The simple idea you can’t control your immature sexual rages takes away your right to live normally because she no longer can. I am sorry you think you are God’s gift to women, so you feel you have the right to take away the basic human right for a woman to feel safe. You are a monster.”
I am not only enraged at the crime that has occurred but the fundamental lack of justice. There are no words to describe how angry and upset I am to live in a world where the rights of a woman are inferior to Brock Turner’s dreams. Where the woman means nothing and so the man’s “hopes for the future” are more important.
How is this fair?
I’d like to say rant over, but I can only pray to God that I can eventually raise my children in a better world than where I live. A world where rape doesn’t happen, but if it does, justice is served with no question of whether the perpetrator is male, white, rich, or heterosexual.
A world where harmful actions of a boy aren’t just labelled “boys being boys”. Where women are not told, “You can’t go out wearing that because you might raped”. Where no always mean no, ALL. THE. TIME.
Ultimately, a place where rape isn’t a culture in our society.
So, please, I beg all of you- start standing up for stuff like this.
It starts with one voice.
This is my voice, now use yours.
If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault, please call 1800 RESPECT for a 24 hour sexual assault and domestic violence support.
Ayla Duffy is the 2016 Youth Member for Bundaberg.
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